The Los Angeles Clippers are set to get a massive improvement to their guard depth after reports emerged that Houston Rockets point guard John Wall is planning to sign with them following his buyout agreement with the latter franchise.
It was ESPN’s Tim MacMahon who first broke the news of a buyout with the Rockets, while it was NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski who reported, citing unnamed sources, that Wall is joining the Clippers. International Business Times could not independently verify this information.
Wojnarowski noted that other teams are still inquiring about Wall’s availability but that the 31-year-old is heavily leaning toward the Clippers.
Wall was set to make $47.4 million in the 2022-23 season as part of his four-year, $171 million deal that he signed with the Washington Wizards back in 2019.
While there is no reported deal yet for Wall to sign, it is likely that he will sign with the Clippers on a taxpayer’s mid-level exception worth $6.3 million, according to Spotrac.
Wall has been wracked by injuries for most of his career but has proven to be one of the best point guards in the game when he is available to play.
However, this situation also affects their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, mainly in their image as a go-to destination for free agents.
Fans and observers had been clamoring for Wall’s acquisition as soon as it became apparent that Russell Westbrook was not going to work out for them.
The report that Wall decided to spurn the Lakers and join the Clippers possibly pointed to how little faith Wall has in the Lakers’ shot at being title contenders, instead choosing to take a chance on the Clippers’ core duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
The Lakers are in deep trouble this offseason as they have tied up most of their cap space to their superstars in Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
For as much talent as the Lakers have, they do not have pieces around their core that can feasibly contend in the playoffs.
Factor in the high-injury risk that is Davis and the Lakers have a recipe for mediocrity if they cannot fill in their roster with credible talent.
Like the Clippers, the Lakers also have a taxpayer’s mid-level exception amounting to $6.3 million that they could have used on Wall but now will be used elsewhere.
The Lakers only have seven players on their payroll going into the 2022-23 season, and without Wall, it will be interesting to see what kind of players will be on the team for opening night.